Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession


For Managers

For Managers

Performance Evaluation: Rewarding Excellence and Fostering Positive Change



Performance

Annual employee performance review meetings are standard in many workplaces and serve as a method to formally document an employee’s contribution and to identify development opportunities. However, this is just one aspect of performance evaluation and management.

Recognizing good performance and coaching employees to develop new skills should occur throughout the year. This ongoing interaction includes a variety of communication techniques. When communicating, be consistent in your treatment of all employees.

Here are a few tips for rewarding excellence and fostering positive change.

For Managers

Look Beyond the Trees to Check Your Competency



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Not seeing the forest for the trees?

This old cliché refers to a circumstance where an individual is so close or involved in a situation that they are incapable of maintaining their perspective or view of the big picture. This cliché applies to many owners and managers within the staffing industry.

Our rebounding economy is creating an environment in which many staffing firms are enjoying increased growth in sales and profits. However, much of that growth is due to external factors versus internal competencies. Although this may appear to be acceptable with our current  economy, it could spell disaster when the economy slows and demand for services decreases.

Now is the time for owners and managers to look beyond the trees (external demand) and see the forest (internal competencies). In many

Business Development, For Managers

Have You Thought of Using ‘Participation’ As Your Sales Metric?



Sales Participation chart - free

Ongoing management — low performers, mid-level performers and even high performers need it. It does not assume high performance, and once high performing, does not assume it will always continue. Everyone needs to be managed on a consistent basis. In sales, the goal of ongoing management is participation rate.

Whether your agency has a separate sales team or every recruiter is dialing for clients, a critical metric is participation rate. Participation rate is the percentage of team members who are at or above plan. For a sales team, participation rate is easy to calculate. On a team of 10 people where four are above their sales plan on a YTD basis, the participation rate is 40%. 

Business, For Managers

Four Ways to Quickly Lose A Client



Courting-David Castillo Dominici-free

Courting-David Castillo Dominici-freeIf there’s anything that’s close to certain about our industry, it’s the fact that clients aren’t easy to get. Like that pretty girl you’d like to date except that she’s always surrounded by guys vying for her attention, clients, especially good ones (and we all know who the good ones are, don’t we?), don’t have to take the first bumbling, average-looking suitor who comes along offering some flowers, a Netflix movie on her Dad’s couch, and maybe a take-out dinner from Subway (Dutch, of course).

No, they can hold out for oh so much more – and they do. They hold their ‘Bachelorette’-like contest until they get what they feel is the best of the best – the best rates, the best reputation, the best service, and the best employee pool. Finally, one lucky agency lands the client of their dreams and they walk off, hand in hand, into the sunset of eternal happiness together… right?

Not always.

Yes, it would stand to reason that, once a staffing agency has jumped through all the hoops it takes to finally land a solid client, they would do whatever it takes to keep that client. Fortunately for all the other agencies/suitors out there, that isn’t always the case.

For Managers

Attention Owners: Want a Vacation? Get a System



2 minute recruiting new

What’s the owner’s freedom formula?

It’s very simple: Systems = Freedom.

If you as the owner of your firm go on a four week vacation, what happens to your business? What happens to the quality and quantity of activity? Some leaders have defined the strength of a small business as being directly proportionate to how much of it can continue to operate in the owner’s absence. Whether you own a large firm or a micro business, having simple and effective systems in place will make it much easier for you to step away from your office without waking up at 3 a.m.in a cold sweat.

What Is A System?

A system is a documented way of performing a task that solves a problem

For Managers, Motivation

Does Your Office Have A Scorecard?



horse race illus-vectorolie-free

So it’s tax time again. While I don’t have much to offer in the area of taxes (I’ll leave that to the accountants), I will tell you this: While none of us likes paying taxes, in a weird convoluted way, I’m much happier when I pay a lot in taxes. It means I’m making a lot of money. When you think about it, what we pay in taxes becomes the ultimate scorecard for how we’re doing  —  and that’s a subject worth talking about.

True champions have one basic quality in common — they love competition and they love keeping score. Personally, I love horse races. The thrill of watching the thoroughbreds cross the finish line is exhilarating. True racing fans tingle through the entire process — the starting gun, jockeying for position, the push to cross the line, and of course the smell of roses at the end isn’t bad either.

It’s no different in our business. We want measurable results and we want to know how our results rank against our peers and the rest of the field. Of course there are those who become obsessed with winning at all costs and cross the lines of good judgment and ethics. I’m not talking about those people. But at the end of the day, a good healthy dose of competitive drive

For Managers, The Business of Recruiting

Here’s How to Turn Performance Reviews From a Negative to a Positive



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Performance reviews. Are there any two other words in the English language that cause more anxiety and resentment on the part of employees, and more fear and loathing on the part of managers?

I admit it; I hate performance reviews mostly because they tend to take place only when there are performance issues. That casts the manager as the bad guy who’s delivering bad news.

One of the biggest traps we fall into in the recruiting industry is that the immediate always takes precedence. We react quickly, because it is in our nature, and a part of our business; a hot new job order, a great new lead. Gotta close the deal now, now, now! But that can lead to now, now, POW, if we manage reviews the same way. If we are to be effective managers and owners, we must revisit the entire concept of performance reviews, understand their value, and recast these otherwise unpleasant formalities as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

For Managers

Get Rid of These 10 Undercover Time-Wasting Over-Workers



Placements and the law logo

Recruiters are always wondering how we’re able to respond so quickly on a national basis. Believe it or not, we work regular hours. I learned the techniques when I was managing a recruiting office.

You can too, if you:

  • Understand where your non-productive time is spent and;
  • Overhaul your procedures.

All the time-management seminars, workshops, books, calendars, timers, alarms, buzzers and electronic voices in the world won’t help you. They’re just pea-shooters in the war against time. Your problem isn’t on the battlefield, it’s in the war room — right there in your office.

Here are the 10 biggest undercover over-workers:

For Managers, How-To, The Business of Recruiting

Here’s How to Plan Your ‘Grand Vision’ For 2015



Target Plan

Year-end is a great time. We get to reflect over what we have accomplished and what we have yet to do. We get to celebrate what we did right and we get to write off our failures as part of the past. And we get to redirect our efforts in a new campaign. It’s a cleansing of sort and if done properly will provide energy and direction going into the New Year.

When I look at year end planning, I believe it begins with the overall Vision Statement. This Vision Statement should describe the “grand, overall” destination of where you want to be. I learned from the great Mike Gionta, that a good Vision Statement is a one-page statement that tells a story as if it had already happened. Basically, write a one page statement as if you were 5, 10, 20 years in the future describing what your life has accomplished. Revisit this statement annually and modify it as you deem appropriate.

With the Vision Statement in place there are certain “Big Bucket” plans that will need to be addressed. They all must work together to support the Vision Statement and the execution of these plans will allow your Vision to become reality. The Big Bucket items that I believe fit our industry are:

Ask Barb, For Managers

Forget Control. Think Rapport



Ask Barb

Dear Barb:

I’ve owned my business for over 25 years and have always been successful at developing client and candidate control. That has not been the case recently. Our candidates and clients are changing their minds more than ever before. It’s become impossible to control their actions.

Sylia D.
San Jose, CA

Dear Sylia:

I have never believed that we can control clients or candidates. What is effective is your ability to develop rapport based on trust. Technology and the availability of information and networking has made it easier for our candidates to find other opportunities and our clients to identify other resources.